Is it really so hard?

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My grandparents were amazing people. The hardships they endured eclipse anything I’ve ever had to deal with. Whenever I am feeling like I’m up against something tough, or that I’m up against the ropes, so to speak, I think about my grandparents and the things they had to endure. And it wasn’t just one thing, mind you: they went through hardship after hardship for about 20 years. They were some very tough people with very big hearts and strong stomachs.

People say that eating right is hard. They say that giving up pizza or bread or pasta is hard, or that they just can’t live without a beer or two. I refuse to accept those answers whenever I ask people why they aren’t eating right. I know things much tougher than giving up ice cream: walking across a border with a 10 month old child and a 10 year old daughter, not knowing if you will make it across, and with an uncertain future in an unknown country. Having everything in your life ripped away from you due to politics. Finding yourself in a new country with no language skills, no place to live, and no money, all while having two kids in tow. Then, try to build a life, raise the kids, and provide for them to not only survive, but to eventually thrive in their new homeland. Then, against all odds, save enough to retire comfortably. THAT is hard. But they did it.

And so, I take my motivation from them. I get stressed out about having to lose another 10 lbs, but I know I can do it. I’ve done it before; I will do it again. I also know that the weight loss takes time, just as it took time for my grandparents to save enough to retire. I know it takes sacrifice: I love pasta, pizza, and bread! But, to remain healthy, fit, and to lose this last 10 lbs, I need to give them up.

I take comfort in knowing how proud of me my grandparents would be today. My grandmother always admonished me to lose weight, and I told her that someday I would. I remember her saying to me, “I will never forgive you if you die before me.” It is for this reason that when I was informed that she had passed away, the first thought in my mind was that I’m off the hook from making her angry at me for dying first. Now, with me having lost all the weight, and with all the positive changes in my life, she would be very happy for me.

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I’ve written in the past about finding your motivation. This is different. This is about putting things into perspective. Is giving up something that’s bad for you really so hard? If you are worth it, and if you want to live longer and healthier, perhaps eating foods made from whole ingredients and without grains, soy, dairy, or added sugar may be worth all the trouble.

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